Families of Orlando victims sue Google, Facebook and Twitter for allegedly giving ISIS ‘material support’

The shooting at Pulse Nightclub on June 12 left 49 dead. Now the families of three victims are suing Facebook, Google and Twitter for allowing ISIS to radicalize online.
Image: drew angerer/ Getty Images

Google, Twitter and Facebook are being sued by the families of three victims killed in the tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Florida in June that left 49 people dead.

The families of three fatally shot victims Tevin Crosby, Juan Ramon Guerrero and Javier Jorge-Reyes filed a lawsuit against Google, Twitter and Facebook on Monday alleging the tech companies provided “material support” for the radicalization of Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired shooter Omar Mateen and his horrific act of violence, Fox News reports.

The suit, filed Monday, points the finger directly at all three tech giants, saying they “knowingly and recklessly” allowed for accounts associated with ISIS to exist and allowed the extremist group “to use its social networks as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds, and attracting new recruits.”

On June 12, Mateen opened fire on crowds of people inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, in an attack that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. The tragedy occurred just as other LGBT Pride parades and events were unfolding around the country that same weekend.

Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, was radicalized by ISIS, like other terrorists, through the organization’s lively online activity and presence across social media, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Facebook, Google and Twitter are responsible for the spreading of information from ISIS and the way it has helped the group grow, the suit added.

“This material support has been instrumental to the rise of ISIS and has enabled it to carry out or cause to be carried out, numerous terrorist attacks, including the June 12, 2016, attack in Orlando,” court records say.

A memorial takes place on June 16 after the mass shooting there killed 49 people.

Image: drew angerer/ Getty Images

Twitter has suspended ISIS-related accounts in the past, among the efforts of other platforms. An investigation by the New Republic found that darker corners of the web, like the lesser known social media site VKontakte, are more likely to host pro-ISIS activity than more mainstream platforms like Facebook.

“Many social media sites quickly shut down any pro-ISIS activity, meaning we found negligible amounts of pro-ISIS activity on Facebook, for instance,” the New Republic said.

But, as the suit alleges, there’s still pro-ISIS activity across the popular sites. Google is primarily involved through its ownership of Youtube, sometimes used by ISIS to post videos about its violence or destruction against opponents. Through the tweets, video posts, Facebook messaging and other online chats and activities of ISIS that still exist, these American tech companies are also responsible, the lawsuit alleges.

“Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” the suit says.

The families behind the lawsuit aren’t the only ones to point toward the implicit involvement of the social media platforms. Back in June, Twitter, Facebook and Google were also sued by the family of another terrorist attack victim, 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in the Paris attacks.

Twitter and Facebook posts by groups and people associated with ISIS are some of the things specifically referenced in the lawsuit filed Monday. The extremist organization once posted a training video on Twitter called “Flames of War” that was retweeted and circulated across the web, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also refers to ISIS-related Twitter accounts with thousands of followers.

The lawsuit also refers to ISIS-related Twitter accounts with thousands of followers, some of which have been suspended.

The online world of the Islamic State is often referenced as one of its greatest weapons, particularly in seeking new recruits and spreading the word of violent radicalism.

“To an even greater degree than al-Qaeda or other foreign terrorist organizations, ISIL has persistently used the internet to communicate and spread its message,” Michael Steinbach, executive assistant director of the National Security Branch of the FBI, said during a hearing before the Department of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

“From a Homeland perspective, it is ISILs widespread reach through the Internet and particularly social media which is most concerning as ISIL has aggressively employed this technology for its nefarious strategy,” Steinbach said. “ISIL blends traditional media platforms, glossy photos, in-depth articles, and social media campaigns that can go viral in a matter of seconds. No matter the format, the message of radicalization spreads faster than we imagined just a few years ago.”

Requests for comment were not returned by time of publication from Google, Facebook or Twitter.

BONUS: Drone footage shows ancient city’s destruction by ISIS

Continue reading

Amber Heard’s Lawyers Say It’s Too Common For The Victim To Be Miscast As The Villain

After filing for divorce early last week, Amber Heard took many by surprise when she accused her estranged husband Johnny Depp of domestic abuse on Friday. Over the weekend, the actor’s friends and family rushed to his side to defend him. Comedian Doug Stanhope even alleged that Heard was lying about her claims of domestic violence in an effort to blackmail Depp.

On Tuesday, Heard’s lawyers released a lengthy statement to the media in an effort to set the record straight. The note explains how their client has swiftly been miscast as the villain rather than the victim and addresses why Heard declined to give the LAPD an initial statement after an altercation on May 21. 

“Amber did not provide a statement to the LAPD in an attempt to protect her privacy and Johnny’s career,” lawyers Samantha F. Spector and Joseph P. Koenig explain in the statement. “Johnny’s team has forced Amber to give a statement to the LAPD to set the record straight as to the true facts, as she cannot continue to leave herself open to the vicious false and malicious allegations that have infected the media. Amber has suffered through years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Johnny.”

Heard’s lawyers stress that the actress’ behavior is no different than that of many victims of domestic violence, who are often more concerned with the fate of their abuser than their own. 

They go on to say that now that Heard has given her statement to police, she hopes it will give them the opportunity to conduct an accurate and complete investigation into the events of May 21 and those prior to that. 

As for claims that Heard is trying to blackmail Depp by going public with her allegations, the 30-year-old’s lawyers write that Heard wanted to “keep this matter as private as possible.” 

We took the high road. Unfortunately, Johnny’s team immediately went to the press and began viciously attacking Amber’s character. Amber is simply a victim of domestic violence, and none of her actions are motivated by money. Amber is a brave and financially independent woman who is showing the courage of her convictions by doing the right thing against Johnny’s relentless army of lawyers and surrogates.

Read the statement in its entirety below: 

Statement from Amber Heard’s lead attorney Samantha F. Spector and her co-counsel Joseph P. Koenig:

“As the result of Amber’s decision to decline giving an initial statement to the LAPD, her silence has been used against her by Johnny’s team. Amber did not provide a statement to the LAPD in an attempt to protect her privacy and Johnny’s career. Johnny’s team has forced Amber to give a statement to the LAPD to set the record straight as to the true facts, as she cannot continue to leave herself open to the vicious false and malicious allegations that have infected the media. Amber has suffered through years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Johnny.  

In domestic violence cases, it is not unusual for the perpetrator’s playbook to include miscasting the victim as the villain.

In reality, Amber acted no differently than many victims of domestic violence, who think first of the harm that might come to the abuser, rather than the abuse they have already suffered. Amber can no longer endure the relentless attacks and outright lies launched against her character in the Court of Public Opinion since the tragic events of May 21st. With her statement Amber hopes to give the LAPD the opportunity to conduct an accurate and complete investigation into the events of that evening and before. If that occurs, and the truth is revealed, there is no doubt that Amber’s claims will be substantiated beyond any doubt, and hopefully Johnny will get the help that he so desperately needs.

From the beginning it has been Amber’s desire to keep this matter as private as possible, even though LAPD officers responded to a 911 call made by a third-party. The LAPD officers viewed not only the disarray that Johnny had caused in the apartment but also the physical injuries to Amber’s face. We filed the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage at the very end of the day on Monday May 23rd and we did not serve Johnny with the Petition at the premiere of Alice Through the Looking Glass that evening.  We sent a letter to Johnny’s counsel team the next morning making it clear we wanted to keep this matter out of the media. We then held off requesting a domestic violence restraining order as we knew that Johnny was out of the country. 

We took the high road. Unfortunately, Johnny’s team immediately went to the press and began viciously attacking Amber’s character. Amber is simply a victim of domestic violence, and none of her actions are motivated by money. Amber is a brave and financially independent woman who is showing the courage of her convictions by doing the right thing against Johnny’s relentless army of lawyers and surrogates.

The Family Law Court is not going to be influenced by misinformation placed in the social media based on anonymous sources. Amber is the victim. Amber is a hero.” 

Continue reading

Five Examples of Excellent Dealership and Automotive Content Marketing – http://cbtnews.com/ (press release) (blog)


http://cbtnews.com/ (press release) (blog)

Five Examples of Excellent Dealership and Automotive Content Marketing
http://cbtnews.com/ (press release) (blog)
More than ever before, consumers want to feel they have a relationship with companies before they make a purchase. They want to know what they stand for, and if they are as genuine as they say they are. Buying a car is one of the most significant

Continue reading

How a Trump or Clinton presidency could change the peanut butter and jelly sandwich as we know it

Of all the major issues this presidential campaign, one has attracted woefully little attention: how a President Clinton or a President Trump would affect the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Though America has loved the sandwich for over a hundred years, these two candidates could substantially shape the future of how the country produces, purchases and eats PB&Js.

Neither Clinton nor Trump have a dedicated portion of their website to food policy (Clinton has a published agenda for rural America), but their past statements, as well as their views on intersecting issues, speak volumes. Clinton wants to open paths to citizenship for undocumented workers, who are disproportionately employed in the food industry. Trump well you know his position by now.

From the outside, the peanut butter and jelly looks perfectly stable. The sandwich is more affordable and available than ever before. The average American will still devour 2,984 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches over the course of a lifetime.

But a change might be spreading.

So, how do these candidates differ?

I. Who will make the PB&J sandwich of the future?

Even though peanut butter and jelly is a uniquely American delicacy, The United States is one of the world’s largest producers of peanuts, exporting, on average, 200,000 and 250,000 metric tons of peanuts per year. Additionally, the country remains one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, the chief ingredientin bread.

While most of the conversation about food policy in America centers around what’s going into our meals, little attention has been paid to who, exactly, is making it.

Undocumented workers are disproportionately likely to take jobs in the agricultural industry, including peanut farms. A 2012 study found that26 percent of farmworkers are undocumented immigrants.

That’s why anti-immigration lawslike the ones Trump has proposed, analysts have warned, could have a powerful impact on the food industry and consequently on consumer prices.In 2011,when Georgia and Alabamapassed strict immigration laws, the consequences for farm industry were immediate and severe. Farmersfrom both states were forced toleave crops to rot after immigrant workers became too afraid to show up to work. In Georgia,56 percent of farmers saidthat it had become far more difficult to find farmworkers. The state experienced an estimated $140 million in agricultural lossesin 2011.

If Trump does indeed manage to crack down on immigration as promised, the agriculture industry including the crops that make up peanut butter and jelly could experience similar labor shortages, and consequently, higher prices for crops, making for more expensive PB&Js.

Peanut wagons sitting on a Georgia farm.

Image: david goldman/ap

Clinton has promised to work on legislation in her first 100 days in office that would make it easier for immigrants to gain citizenship. If she’s able to pass reforms, it’s possible that migrant workers will stay on the fields, and agricultural prices, including the price of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich, will remain the same, assuming all other variables remain constant.

II. What will it taste like?

Peanut butter and jelly may seem like a standardized recipe, but there are great differences among peanut butter and jelly brands.

In American culture, you’re either a mass-produced JIF kid or an organic Justin’s urbanite who prefers their peanuts sans glycerides and with fancy fontwork, thank you very much.

On this issue, Clinton and Trump appear to share (hypothetical) common ground.

“On sugar, Clinton seems more supportive of policies to tax the ingredient (presumably for health reasons) which would make the jelly more expensive,” Jasyon Lusk, Economist and Regents Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University, said. “But then, both favor ethanol mandates which probably makes HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) more expensive.”

Ethanol mandates reduce the available amount of corn for human consumption (but help turn out votes in swing state Iowa). Instead of being used for food, nearly 40 percent of the America’s corn crop is now being converted to ethanol (once considered a sustainable fuel) which has shown to increase agricultural prices, and theoretically, the price of peanut butter and jelly.

taxpayers heavily subsidize the corn industry

And thanks to the 2014 farm billand years of bills like it, taxpayers heavily subsidize the corn industry. That makes it far cheaper for the peanut butter and jelly industry to use high fructose corn syrup in lieu of real sugar.

Clinton, Lusk reports, “appears to favor current policies of subsidized crop insurance and other commodity programs,” keeping the current policies and prices intact. Trump has yet to make his position known.

Trump and Clinton seem to agree on ethanol mandates and possibly subsidized corn insurance. Under either of their presidencies, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich will remain as fatty as ever, and hypothetically, more expensive than before.

V. Will at least the labeling be cool?

Let’s not lie. Many of us buy peanut and butter simply for cosmetic reasons: because the peanut butter is in a mason jar, and that’s cosmopolitan and sexy. Or because the jelly is stored in a bottle that’s just such a blast to squeeze.

Image: ebay

Neither Clinton nor Trump has any plans to impose state-regulated fonts on the food industry. Still, Clinton has been largely supportive of GMOs, some of which are involved in the production of peanut butter, and ambivalent about GMO labeling.

It’s plausible, though highly unlikely, that our adorable colorful Smucker’s labels could come with an unsightly (though informative) GMO label under a Clinton presidency. It is unclear if GMO labeling will increase food prices, or how much of the burden will be passed onto consumers. GMOs themselves may very well push down sandwich prices:

“There is no GMO wheat, but GMOs corn and beets produce sugar. These GMO varieties have environmental benefits and can lead to lower insecticide use; moreover they are often more productive (meaning prices would be lower),” Lusk said.

Trump has yet to publish any views on the subject, though he did once publish this tweet on the matter.

III. Who will buy our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

Americans love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches more than they love good old American apple pie (why, no one knows). But countries from all around the world are invested in importing our peanuts and our wheat: key ingredients of the American sandwich.

But both Clinton and Trump might make it difficult for us to export products like wheat. Trump, and later Clinton, both opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the most significant trade agreements of the Obama administrations. While lowering trade barriers might increase crop supply and reduce the cost of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, farmers may suffer as a result.

Both seem to espouse a lot of anti-trade rhetoric of late. Trade has complex effects. A huge chunk of our wheat crop is exported each year,” Lusk said. “If trade barriers prevented that, our farmers would be poorer, but we’d have (at least in the short run) more wheat to eat domestically, which would drive down the price of bread.”

Clinton, once an advocate of NAFTA and now an opponent of TPP, has shifted her views on free trade this election cycle. It’s unclear where exactly she’ll stand in November, but she’s been fairly consistently pro-trade throughout her political career.

Trump, however, wants to extend protectionism even further, making prices for sandwiches potentially cheaper, at a cost to domestic farmers and the global poor.

Both Trump and Clinton’s anti-trade policies will make peanut butter and jelly farmers less wealthy and their sandwiches more affordable, though Trump’s protectionism will potentially have an even more dramatic impact on the sandwich.

IV. Will it be safe to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

In September, Trump released a statement that he planned to eliminate certain food and safety regulations, hoping to curb the abuses of the “FDA Food Police.”

“The rules govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures and even what animals may roam which fields and when, the statement read. “It also greatly increased inspections of food ‘facilities,’ and levies new taxes to pay for this inspection overkill.”

Peanut butter and jelly may seem like the safest of sandwiches. But the product has been recalled before. In 2012, Trader Joe’s was forced to recall its Creamy Salted Valencia Peanut Butter after Sunland, one of their processing plants, was linked to a Salmonella outbreak.


Deregulating the FDA may potentially lead to further outbreaks, making one of the most innocuous sandwiches in history, slightly less innocuous.

Clinton wants to keep the FDA intact. Under a Trump presidency, peanut butter might be a little more dangerous . . . but doesn’t danger taste good?

V. Do the peanut and butter jelly dance

It’s less than a month away from the election, and the future of America’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich has never been more at risk. Will Trump’s protectionism make sandwiches cheaper? Will Clinton’s FDA regulations hold farmers back? What role will Trump’s anti-immigration laws have on peanut laborers?

The stakes are high, and the sandwich small. But if there’s anything to be learned about the peanut butter and jelly sandwich over the past century, is that it’s resilient.

Trump or Clinton may become president and radically change the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But no matter what kind of damage they inflict, or improvements they make, the sandwich, in all its glory, will continue to survive.

Bonus: Mediaocracy

Continue reading

The 48 startups that launched at Y Combinator S16 Demo Day 2

The worlds most prestigious startup school launched 48 companies today at part 2 of its Summer 2016 Demo Day. Nanoparticle analytics and delivery robots were amongst the products revealed in the B2B, biotech, enterprise, edtech, fintech, and hardware verticals. You can check out our write-ups of all 44 startups that launched yesterday, and TechCrunchs picks for the top 7 from the first half of the batch. Here are our picks for the top 8 from todays set, with all of them below.

YC International

Trying to distill trends from the hodgepodge of startups at Demo day can be futile, because the real winners are the ones ahead of the trends. For example, TechCrunch thought Airwares drone operating system was a little too early in 2013. It turned out to be smartly ahead of the curve. Now you see lots of drone startups in YC, but many are chasing Airware which has gone on to raise $70 million.

Justin

Justin Kan, Twitch co-founder and YC partner

Y Combinator president Sam Altman explains The best company at any given Demo Day is not the one that fits the theme of that Demo Day. its the one that fits the theme of 2019. Altman cites the Alan Kay quote that the best way to predict the future is to invent it, adding I think short of that, the future is basically unknowable. What I like about YC is the companies get to invent the future. They dont have to guess.

One important development is that 30% of this batchs companies were founded outside the US, a bigger portion than in the past.

YC partner Justin Kan credits that to the program being around long enough that its funded successful companies from tons of countries. He says founders used to ask Would YC even fund a company from Indonesia or Thailand? but now there are role models they can look to.

The startup mindset has seeped out of the Silicon Valley Altman tells us. One of the things that will surprise people is how much of a world-wide phenomenon startups will become. Altman notes that while tech has led to four of the five most valuable companies in the world being based on the west coast of the US, he doesnt expect that to persist, so YC has to fund international startups.

And now, here are all 48 companies that launched at YC Summer 2016 Demo Day 2:

ApolloShield A system to safely land threatening drones

Drones present a serious threat to security. Every year, there are thousands of security incidents with drones that can include contraband delivery and near collisions with aircraft. ApolloShield is selling a device that can take control of unwanted drones, disconnect operators, and safely land the crafts. To date, the hardware can defend against about half the drones on the market. The company said that law enforcement clients need an averageof five devices that cost $30,000 per device per year.

Read more about ApolloShield on TechCrunch.

OhmygreenB2B wellness solutions

Who knew theres already a billion dollar-plus market for office snacks? Thats what Ohmygreen a provider of healthy office snacks is going after. The company already serves larger companies like Lyft and Amazon, and boasts a 55 percent gross margin. The company has an $800,000 monthly recurring revenue, too. Ohmygreen does 700 deliveries every month, but at its core, its a logistics company, CEO Michael Heinrich said. That makes plenty sense it allows Ohmygreen to optimize its delivery network and supply chains for its specific kinds of snacks. This allows us to get those gross margins, 55 percent is 3-5X that of industry leaders, he said. Thats the same as Twilio.

Emote Student behavioral analysis

Student outcomes are as much a productof learning as they are a product of wellness. Emote wants to put powerful behavioral information in the hands of teachers before students even walk into the classroom. The company recognizes that 300,000 students are pushed out of class every single day and wants to do something about it by helping teachers recognize and plan for student interactions so that disruptions dont occur. Emote will be in 33 schools by the end of September and another 135 by January. This represents 1.3 million in potential revenue and the company cites sales cycles of just three weeks.

Flutterwave Payment processing in Africa

Payments processing is stratified across Africa. The continent is host to over 276 wallets, 500 banks, and 7 card networks. Flutterwave is producing an API for payment processing that can organize this market and create efficiencies. The company has already processed $20 million in payments over the last three months and stands to gain a lot from a 0.3 percent processing fee. In the last month, Flutterwave doubled its payment volume in an African market of over $360 billion yearly mobile payments. Services are available in Nigeria and Ghana and will be expanding to nine more countries by the end of the year.

Instrumentl Making scientific grants easy

For scientists, applying to grants is a drag. It just doesnt make sense for some of the most educated people on the planet to spend their time filling out forms and searching for funding sources. Instrumentl offers universities and research institutions access to a database of federal, state, and corporate money for a monthly fee of $35 per seat. But Instrumentl isnt just a database, it leverages machine learning algorithms to identify and push relevant grants towards applicable research. Scientists simply use the platform to build a project description and the platform takes care of the rest. Harvard, Yale, and Texas A&M are already using the platform and the company is generating 200,000 in annual recurring revenue.

People.ai Sales team analytics

Oleg Rogynskyy and his team at People.ai want to help companies understand what sales teams are doing on a daily basis. People.ai integrates with calendars, phones, and emails and logs sales activity that leads to closing deals. The idea is that sales teams can track best practices from top performers and close more deals. Over 100 companies have partnered with people.ai over the last four months at a price of $50 per seat per month.

Read more about People.ai on TechCrunch.

Revlo Audience management for gamers that live stream

Live streaming video gaming sessions may seem like a dream job, but it can be a lot of work to engage with interested viewers. Revlo is an audience management platform for streamers. Early users have seen a 40 percent increase in viewership time and a 2X increase in new viewer retention. Today there are 16,000 active streamers on the platform, paying $10 per month, to use its chatbots, leaderboards, and virtual currency to increase engagement.

Quero Education Filling open seats at Brazilian colleges

Quero Education is an ed-tech startup out of Brazil that is promising to help solveunder-enrollmentissues atBrazilian universities. Contrary to what most of us would think, coming from schools challenged daily by a lack of professors and dormitories, enrollment at Brazilian schools would need to double to just match the number of available seats. The companys platform offers information across colleges in additions to discounts at over a third of schools in Brazil. Quero takes a 12 percent cut of tuition which averages $3,000 per year in the country and has generated $7 million in revenue at a 5X yearly growth rate.

Read more about Quero Education on TechCrunch.

Fellow An API for working capital

Many companies struggle to find working capital when it is most needed the end of the month when employees and contracts need to be paid. Fellow is an API for invoice financing that removes friction for companies. The API auto-underwrites and finances invoices. In three weeks, four companies have started using Fellow, financing approximately $120,000 in working capital. In the past, companies had to either have huge revenue streams, or deal with months of bureaucracy to get credit lines from banks.

HiOperator Customer service as a service

HiOperator wants to help companies get access to customer service, no matter their size. The company scales phone, email and chat support services with easy integrations and a pay-as-you-go model that contrasts with other services that have large on-boarding fees. Ten companies are already using HiOperator, resulting in $11,000 in monthly recurring revenue. HiOperators services can integrate into key customer service platforms and centralize all information into a single platform.

Innov8 Coworking spaces for India

Innov8 wants to bring coworking to India in a big way. They group has already built two centers in the country with 100 percent occupancy and a 200 person waitlist. The spaces utilize differentiating design to convinceagrowing number entrepreneurs in India to paythe monthly fee. Coworking is burgeoning in India because of it offers reliable infrastructure while at the same time reducing costs. Innov8 charges occupants $150 a month, which represents an average of about a 50 percent reduction of office costs.

Vidcode Teaching CS with fun student projects

Online services like CodeAcademy have been growing for a few years, but Vidcode wants to target students directly in their schools by providing projects adapted for ayounger audience. Vidcode partnered with Snapchat to let students build and implement filters. Students can also use Java to build Pokemon and memes from scratch. The company is currently working to expand a high-profile contract with New York City Schools. Since launching, Vidcode is growing at 40 percent monthly by charging districts and schools $50 per student usingthe platform.

Read more about Vidcode on TechCrunch.

Polymail Office mail without plugins

Today, our email productivity is more dependent on plugins then the mail client itself. We use them for read receipts, for scheduling, and for contact management. Polymail wants to integrate all of these features into a core email service. The company is focusing its efforts on businesses that predominately use email services like Outlook to manage their communication. The well designed service already has 7,300 daily active users and 2,000 companies putting it through the paces. Taking a page from Slack, the service is free to teams for now and will be monetized with upgrades, including additional CRM features.

Vetcove Supplies for veterinary clinics

Every week, veterinary hospitals have to purchase supplies from dozens of vendors. Amazon has been aggregating products online for over 20 years, but Vetcove wants to make sure that the veterinary supplies market is not ignored. By forging partnerships with vendors, Vetcove hopes to increase its returns. Having spent their lives working in the space, the team has leveraged connections to bring 1600 veterinary hospitals onto the platform in the last year, representing 7 percent of all the veterinary hospitals in the entire United States. From this large customer base, Vetcove saw $860,000 in purchases last week.

Whyd Voice controlled speakers

Music technology today is highly compartmentalized. We have Spotify to play our music, phones and computers to store it, bluetooth to stream it, and Alexia to talk to it. Companies like Sonos have brought audio technology forward to the doorstep of the streaming generation, but Whyd wants to go even further by integrating voice control into the speaker itself. The company is working with companies that make products for audio mainstays like JBL and Harman Kardon. This week alone, consumers have purchased 50,000 worth of the speakers.

Read more about Whyd on TechCrunch.

Meesho Helping Indian businesses sell with social

Commerce in India is largely driven by mobile interactions over platforms like WeChat. Over 50 million small businesses sell over WeChat in the country. Meesho is an e-commerce platform for small businesses in India adapted for platforms like WeChat. Shop owners can interact directly with potential buyers. Businesses that use Meesho have seen a 30 percent increase in sales within a month of starting use. The company not only wants to jump on trends of mobile communication in commerce, but the overall trend of small businesses in India moving to digital platforms to manage sales. India is expected to see 10X growth over the next four years in this space.

Read more about Meesho on TechCrunch.

RoseRocket Collaborative trucking platform

RoseRocket is helping trucking companies work with other trucking companies. The team recognized that most technology platforms servicing the trucking industry created tools under the assumption that trucking companies were in competition with other carriers. In reality, companies collaborate daily and most shipments spend time on other carriers trucks. At any given time, three million trucks are on the road, and 50 percent of orders are outsourced at some point during their transportation. The software costs trucking companies $10,000 per month. In addition to subscription revenue, RoseRocket also makes approximately $50,000 in commissions from each trucking company for facilitating connections.

Proxy Enabling phones to become access cards

Mobile payments and even coupons have come to our smartphones, yet we still carry building access cards with us to work. Proxy is working to replace RFID cards with smartphones. They have created a sensor for doors that connects to phones. The readers work seamlessly with smartphones and do not require any application to be open when entering a building. Besides being convenient for workers, the readers collect valuable data on the number of workers in an office at any given time and the amount of time they spend there.

Read more about Proxy on TechCrunch.

Seneca Systems Local government software

Local governments use outdated phones, spreadsheets, and email to organize spending of over $1.1 trillion per year in the US on trash pickup, police dispatch, traffic lights, and more. Seneca System offers a software system that ties all departments of a local government together so they can sensibly respond to requests from citizens and each other. Seneca Systems already has big cities like Houston, Chicago, San Jose, and Boston paying for its $60 per employee SaaS, with 100 percent month over month growth in monthly recurring revenue. There are 10.5 million total local gov employees in the US, and 47 west coast cities in Seneca Systems pipeline already, meaning Seneca Systems is chasing an enormous market. If it can lock down the foundation of management infrastructure for local govs, it could expand into more IT services.

Legalist Algorithmic litigation financing

Theres a new asset class for investors and its actually in litigation, where investors help cover the cost of litigation in exchange for a share of the outcome. By 2016, its become a $3 billion market, Legalist CEO Eva Sheng said. Thats where Legalist, an algorithmic risk assessment startup, enters. Legalist gathers data from cases dating back to 1989 to figure out the risk and case duration for a specific case, gauging 58 variable correlated with case outcome. Its basically quantitative analysis for case outcomes, though its not Peter Thiel funding Hulk Hogan, Sheng said. The firm has already invested in one case for $75,00, with an expected outcome of $1 million, Sheng said.

Read more of our coverage of Legalist on TechCrunch

CoinTent Recover revenue lost to ad blockers

Web publishers lost $22 million last year from having their ads blocked. 22 percent of US users have ad blockers, and usage is growing 50 percent per year. CoinTent helps publishers detect users with ad blockers, and either deny them access or let them pay $1 for ad-free access. CoinTent recovers an average of 25 percent of lost revenue, and takes a 30 percent cut of what it recovers. Eventually it wants to build a cross-web subscription service for ad-free browsing. With ad blocking rapidly growing, publishers need a solution, and CoinTent could build it for them.

Amberbox Safety sensors for shooter detection

Fire alarms are everywhere, but theres a lot of opportunity to go beyond that, James Popper says. Thats the goal of Amberbox, which is to not only detect fires, but also active shooters with gunshot detection. Going after just the existing market alone, its a $26 billion market, but Amberbox is going for a new subscription-style model. The devices network with each other in order to create a large system that can notify authorities and managers quickly and help them lock down entire campuses. The devices cost $50 per month, or around $1,250 per three-story building, Popper said, and the devices break even after around 3 months of revenue.

Robby Self-driving delivery robots

There 12 billion food and package delivers in the US every year. But the on-demand meal and grocery industries are being held back by the high costs of human deliverers. Robby makes self-driving delivery robots that can autonomously navigate sidewalks to your door. Robby can reduce costs of deliveries from $5 to $10, to $1 to $2 each. Its MIT PhD-built bots have already made 50 deliveries, and Robby about to start a pilot program with Instacart. If Robby can make deliveries cheaper for the consumer, it could unlock enormous growth for the on-demand economy.

Eventgeek ROI and logistics tracking for events

Nearly every company is going to throw an event at some point. Whether its for employees in order to increase retention to throwing conferences in order to attract new customers, its a huge expense for companies. And the outcome isnt always obvious, because there hasnt been a strong set of tools to manage the direct outcome of those events. Thats what Eventgeek is hoping to do, plugging into multiple channels like Salesforce or Twitter to track new followers ro sales leads. The company charges around $10,000 per year, which with a market of around 250,000 companies represents a $2.5B opportunity, CEO Alex Patriquin said. The company is growing 48 percent month-over-month.

RocketLit Adaptive learning platform

66 percent of US 8th graders have a reading difficulty level below their grade level. That means they cant read their textbooks to study, so they fall behind. RocketLit re-writes textbooks at seven different reading levels and serves students the appropriate version. In a pilot, low performing students scored 90 percent on their science exams and every student went up two reading levels in a single year. RocketLit has $1 million in pilots set up, and is hoping to disrupt the $14 billion textbook market. If everything online adapts to the user, so should education.

Jumpcut Online courses that look and feel like movies

Last year, LinkedIn spent $1.5 billion on Lynda.com, an online learning platform. Online education itself has become a huge market. But the course completion rates and retention is far too low, according to Jumpcut CEO Kong Pham because the lectures are simply too boring. Hes hoping that his team can build a company based around Spielberg-like online courses, starting with professional networking videos like learning how to network and become better at social media. The company has $85,000 in monthly recurring revenue and is doubling month-over-month with a $17-per-month subscription model. Its going to be challenging for sure: its going to be hard to figure out how to make highly cinematic videos that go into tough subjects like computer science and mathematics. But Pham and his team which have previously built a company in viral video hope they can crack that market.

CrowdAI Smarter image recognition

Companies send CrowdAI photos, and the startup tells clients exactly whats in them. It can recognize farm land, factories, oil rigs, and much more. One company uses it to detect the number of shipping containers in satellite photos of ports, and sells that data to hedge funds. Big companies pay a fortune for accurate human tagging, while small companies rely on computers that can be inaccurate. CrowdAI blends humans and machine image scanning to accurately and cheaply provide image recognition. Its already working with Planet Labs and self-driving car company Cruise. With a team of technical co-founders, CrowdAI could grow to help industries like medical imaging and the military too.

OneChronos Next generation financial exchange

Trading on the stock market has become an arms race to build the fastest smartest algorithms. OneChronos hopes to level that playing field by bringing new trading mechanisms to online trading that reduce that arms race down to a more sane transaction system. The company syncs up atomic clocks to eliminate the need to race over a network, and building tools to help traders move more volume at a fair price. And its also letting customers run code directly inside the exchange in an additional effort to reduce cost for financial firms. CEO Kelly Littlepage says that it has signed 6 letters of intent a $7 million revenue potential but it has quite a few hurdles before launching next year, including filing with the SEC. But the hope is that, if all goes well, OneChronos will be a new, next-generation NASDAQ exchange.

Validere Handheld industrial testing equipment

Oil, gas, and chemical companies have to send samples to a slow, expensive lab to test their materials. Validere makes a handheld device that can give results cheaper, faster, and without trained technicians. At $50 per test, Validere is 5x cheaper than labs because it uses liquid property indicators combined with computer vision algorithms and public databases of chemical properties. Validere already has $750,000 in paid pilot programs, and its aiming at a $22 billion industry. The startups team PhDs from Havard and other elite schools is solving the problem not just by shrinking lab equipment, but making it easy enough for any truck driver to use.

OOHLALA mobile OS for colleges

It can be hard to keep track of everything thats going on at a campus, whether thats messaging between new student acquaintances that might have each others phone numbers or paying for school resources. OOHLALA is hoping to build a complete resource for all those tools for students with what Daniel Jameel, CEO of the company, says is a mobile OS for the school. That may sound pretty broad, but it sounds like colleges are starting to apply it: the company has around $1.5 million in annual recurring revenue and tripled in size year over year. The company charges $50,000 across a total addressable market of 60,000 schools or a $3B potential market. The company has 150 paying colleges in 7 countries, Jameel said.

Opsolutely Automated deployments for software teams

Developers use GitHub for writing code, AWS for servers, and New Relic for monitoring, but they need something to manage how their code is deployed. Opsolutely lets them granularly push code to their infrastructure with dedicated software, instead of using expensive, custom, error-prone in-house scripts or Heroku. Opsolutely already counts GitHub and Eero as paying customers for its $100 per web service per month tier. With some companies running hundreds or thousands of internal web services, Opsolutely is entering a $3 billion market

Livement Tickets and concessions for sports stadiums

In Latin America, the ticketing process is even more of a pain than dealing with Ticketmaster and other ticketing services. In fact, customers sometimes even have to go to stores to pick up paper tickets that they purchase through Ticketmaster, Livement CEO Roberto Novelo said. Livement hopes to fix that by allowing people to not only purchase tickets online, but also purchase concessions within stadiums through an app. The company charges a 7 percent transaction fee plus a 25 cent charge for tickets, and Novelo said the company booked $500,000 in gross ticket sales in a month. Right now the company has signed with 6 teams, and is starting off in Latin America to start off given the pain points that exist there.

SmartPath Financial advisor for main street families

While the wealthy top 15 percent have traditional and robo advisors to help them with finances, 100 million main street US families go unserved. SmartPath helps families track their expenses, complete online training, and earn rewards. Right now, they could score gift cards for getting smarter about money, but eventually Smartpath wants to get them lower interest rates on their loans. Though it sounds boring, 67 percent of users keep at it, and its growing 30 percent month over month. SmartPath charges employers $1 to $5 per employee per month. It targets them because companies already spend $800 million on financial wellness since it makes employees more stable and productive.

Read more about SmartPath on TechCrunch

PatientBank Platform for gathering and sharing medical data

Would you pay $30 to get your medical records before your next doctor visit? Thats what PatientBank is hoping, given that the traditional process of getting records might involve actually physically visiting an office or ordering them over the phone. With that model, PatientBank has already gathered more than 10,000 records from 2,300 hospitals to date, and generates around $4,000 in weekly revenue in its two months of operations. Given that there are more than a billion doctor visits every year, its increasingly important to have an all-in-one place for medical records, but its been a huge challenge to move records from one health professional to another. PatientBank seems to take a more patient-centric approach, and well have to see if that model pans out to be a good financial model.

Saleswhale Coaching bot for sales teams in Asia

Sales reps are bad at personalizing emails or contacting the right decision maker, leading to an average email response rate of under 3 percent. Saleswhale analyzes a companys emails and makes actionable recommendations about how to improve. One pilot saw it raise a companys response rates from 6 percent to 31 percent. Saleswhale is already working with huge companies in Asia like Grab, charging $75 per rep per month. For now its focusing on Asia, where it says sales tech is five years behind the US. There are legions of sales people out there, and Saleswhale could make them smarter instantly.

Read more about Saleswhale on TechCrunch

Selfycart Mobile app for self-checkout

Checking out is one of the most complicated parts of the shopping experience. Self-checkout kiosks can be painful to work with, and the alternative is hiring someone just to handle the process and thats all theres ever been. Selfycart is launching in order to add a third one: checking out on your phone. Its basically just an app where users scan products and pay for them through the app. Selfycart charges 2 percent to retailers per transaction, instead of the retailers having to pay for large checkout operations. Instead of kiosks, retailers only need a sales associate to validate transactions. Selfycart customers can use Apple Pay, credit cards and PayPal for their transactions.

Read more of our coverage of Selfycart on TechCrunch

Lendsnap Automating mortgage paperwork for lenders

It can take up to 500 pages of documents to apply for a loan, leading 80 percent of people to go with the first lender they find so they dont get the best price. Lendsnap helps compile the 30 different documents from a loan buyers online accounts, from bank statements to W2s. By charging $100 per loan, Lendsnap can chase a $1.8 billion opportunity. Eventually, it wants to pre-compile peoples documents to create a loan marketplace. Loans are already scary enough, Lendsnap could at least make them easy.

BulldozAIR Task management software for construction projects

Tracking construction issues can be difficult across a large number of construction sites. BulldozAIR wants to build a whole suite of tools that use mobile devices to keep track of all the tasks construction workers complete visually. Workers take photos of things like wiring issues, for example, and explain the technical components in the app. That information is then shared across the entire network, which BulldozAIR charges $290 per worker per year. Thats enabled BulldozAIR to generate $20,000 in recurring revenue this month, and targeting $36,000 monthly recurring revenue next month. The company is targeting Europe for now, but that alone represents a $3.7B market, CEO Ali El Hariri said.

Nova Credit Global credit reports

One of the most important parts of economic health is the ability to make purchases with credit and debt. But for immigrants in the U.S., they might not have access to credit because they simply have no credit history in the States. Nova Credit is looking to bridge the gap between the credit history immigrants have internationally with creditors in the U.S., giving them a set of data to make a call as to whether to issue a line of credit. Those scores are equally important when it comes to renting apartments or taking out loans, too. Each credit pull costs lenders $30, and with 10 million immigrants in the U.S., that already addresses a multi-billion dollar market, CEO Misha Esipov said. In the next two months, the company will link to firms in India, Canada and Germany, and expects to cover 90 percent of the immigrant base in the U.S. in a year.

Read more of our coverage of Nova Credit on TechCrunch

NeoWize Personalization for ecommerce

Most e-commerce sites just show the newest, cheapest, or best selling items first. NeoWize analyzes browsing behavior like clicks, hovers, and scroll-bys to instantly personalize the items people see. Pilot customers saw a 10 percent to 30 percent increase in store revenue. Now NeoWize is built into AbanteCart and is targeting other ecommerce platforms instead of individual stores to quickly scale out. Its growing 70 percent week over week, and is now in 1300 active stores. If you dont personalize your site, people will bounce, so NeoWize shows them what theyll actually want.

YesGraph Social graph API that helps apps grow

When youre inviting a friend to try out a new product, the process is probably pretty clunky you have to dig up the right contact, and for the app makers, its not as likely that theyll get a high quality user. Ivan Kirigin, who ran growth at Dropbox for two years, is hoping to apply machine learning to a persons private social graph (including their contacts and emails) in order to recommend the best people to invite to a new app or product. Starting off with business-to-business customers, YesGraph will rank invites by company email domain, job titles, location, and a number of other data points. And the more data about a persons social graph and behavior YesGraph collects (privately), the better the targeting gets across all kinds of data points, making the results more and more accurate for other companies invite flows.

Read more of our coverage of YesGraph on TechCrunch

TL Biolabs Genomic predictions for better livestock management.

If farmers have an opportunity to predict whats going to happen to cattle as soon as theyre born whether theyll be susceptible to disease or need less feed they can plan accordingly. But testing for those kinds of parameters can cost up to $100, TL Biolabs CEO Fred Turner said, coming from companies like illumina and eating up potential profits. TL Biolabs is trying to build a cheaper test it costs $15 using proprietary technology to get those kinds of predictions. By doing that, Farmers can optimize their operations in order to get the best possible outcome from their cattle. The company is currently running a pilot with the Scottish government to test 20 percent of the cattle born this year, which is a $1 million pilot, Turner said.

Sway Automated bookkeeping

Companies spend $61 billion a year on human bookkeeping, but computers can do it better, faster, and cheaper. Sway has built an automated bookkeeping tool that connect to online accounts like Stripe, PayPal, and other infrastructure to pull the data it needs. Instead of a person spending 10 hours punching that data into spreadsheets manually, Sway can do it in 10 minutes. At $99 per month, Sway wants to replace bookkeeping for 500,000 businesses. This job wont exist in 10 years, and Sway wants to accelerate the change.

Elemeno Health Checklists for hospitals

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US, and thats partly due to inconsistency of care. Doctors and nurses forgot to check everything. Elemeno Health compiles best practices for hospitals into a checklist tool that ensures caregivers arent missing anything. Its pilot with UCSF saved three lives, over 300 hospital days of work, and $1.1 million. Elemenos co-founder worked on the frontlines of hospitals to gather the knowledge, and now he wants to bring those surefire processes to every doctor and nurse.

UtilityScore API for Utility Data

When shopping for a home, theres always going to be a huge cost that goes along with the mortgage: the utility bill. But that might be hard to estimate, especially when digging through potential homes on Zillow or other sites. UtilityScore is building a back-end tool that allows those companies to call up estimates for all 82 million single family homes for utility costs, giving potential home buyers more information when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. That information comes from a collection of more than 7,000 different sources, founder Brian Gitt said. That same data can also help companies like solar panel providers demonstrate to potential customers how much money they would save, making it easier to sway them. The same can be true to other home improvement providers and the like that might make recommendations on how to reduce those costs. All this leads to a total potential market of $1.5 billion, in which UtilityScore would charge around $95,000 in licensing on average per year.

WorkRamp Training software for the enterprise

Recruiting can be expensive, but finding the best talent for your company is absolutely critical to success. But what often gets overlooked is that the people a company hires also have an opportunity to keep learning and become more valuable to the company over time. WorkRamp is building training software for companies like PayPal and Square that helps further train those employees, increasing the impact they have at a company over time. Sales representatives, for example, can come on to WorkRamp and record a pitch that their peers and mentors can view and send feedback in order to get better at their jobs. Thats one example of the exercises, which are designed to be more personalized. The company has booked $120,000 in annual recurring revenue from those companies already.

RigPlenish Reduce ambulance paperwork

One third of ambulance time is spent filling out paperwork. RigPlenish says it can reduce 40 minutes of paperwork per ambulance run to just 4 minutes. It charges $2,000 a month to automate checklists and compliance while improving communication between ambulance hubs and hospitals. It already has a paid customer and letters of intent from two more big players that together amount for 4.4 million ambulance runs per year. With 55,000 ambulances in the US, RigPlenish is addressing a $1.3 billion market. Next, it wants to improve the backend software for fire trucks and police. Responders should be saving lives, not doing busy work.

GTrack Technologies Nanoparticle oil well analytics

By pumping nanoparticles into fracking wells and detecting what comes back up, GTrack can quantify the amount of oil and gas available to suck up. It allows oil and gas companies to learn more about where and where not to drill. In one pilot, a company spent $20,000 on GTrack, but soon learned it didnt need to undertake a $500,000 cleanup operation. Its team has spent seven years working with nanomaterials and has three patents. Oil and gas companies spend $12.5 billion a year on production analytics already, and next GTrack wants to get into industries like geothermal, mining and groundwater remediation, and power plant runoff. Anytime fluid flow needs to be traced, GTracks nanoparticles could show whats happening underground.

Check out the rest of our YC Demo Day coverage:

All 44 startups that launched on Demo Day 1

Our picks for the top 7 startups from Demo Day 1

Our picks for the top 8 startups from Demo Day 2

Continue reading
1 2 3 60